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U.S. arms sales to foreign governments up one third in 2018

Staff Writer |
The U.S. State Department announced on Thursday that the country's arms sales to foreign governments increased by 33 percent in fiscal year 2018.

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The sales rose to 55.66 billion U.S. dollars in fiscal year 2018, which ran from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018, up from 41.93 billion dollars in the previous year, said the State Department in a statement.

The statement also disclosed that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Poland, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates were among the major buyers, with Saudi Arabia purchasing Littoral combat ships and Patriot air and missile defense systems with a total value of 8.1 billion dollars.

In total, authorized U.S. arms exports, comprising government-to-government and direct commercial sales, rose 13 percent to 192.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, the statement added.

The department did not publish a breakdown of sales to each country.

In a separate statement also released on Thursday, the State Department attributed the arms export increase to the Trump administration's new policy released in April, which alignes U.S. conventional arms sale with its national and economic security interests.

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